I’ve been going to the mill on Friday mornings, usually from 8:40 am to noon. As far as I can tell, the number of women going in has remained steady. On November 21st, it felt like I was having no impact at all, hardly any of the women going in acknowledging me, let alone taking the brochures I was handing out. I have to admit it was probably due as much to my own timidity as anything else. One important thing I did notice, it seems a new doctor has started working there. I haven’t seen the other one from the 40 days vigil in a while. This new one completely avoids making eye contact with me and keeps his back to me while waiting for the elevator.November 28th started out much like the previous week, it seemed like just trying to start conversations was a major struggle. Then, a women gave me some words of encouragement as she walked by. She must work nearby, I see her regularly. Later on, a woman coming out from Curves approached me and said: “Are you protesting against the clinic?” I replied : “I’m praying and reaching out to the women going in”. She then went on to tell me that in 1988, she almost went through with an abortion, having gone all the way to Montreal (that was before the mill opened in Ottawa). She changed her mind, however, because she recognized that her baby was one of God’s creatures. She proudly told me that her daughter, now 20 years old, is going into medicine. I couldn’t help but think that the story of the women upstairs at the mill would be so different from hers in twenty years time, regret and tears, not the “bursting with pride” story. Today, about the same number of women went in during my watch (about 8 between 8:40 and noon). Maggie who’s usually there from 7:30 to 8:30 usually sees about 3 of them go in. After noon, I’ve seen up to 5 or 6. Around 9:00 am, the manager of the mill came up to me and asked me what I was doing. I replied that I was praying (I was also holding some brochure in my hand). She asked me to go pray across the street. I told her it was my right to pray right where I was. She said nothing and went inside. I noticed a police car go by about 5 minutes later, but that might just be a coincidence. About an hour later, I noticed a woman taking pictures, aiming the camera directly at me. The lady who was praying with me (I’m sorry, I forget her name) went over and asked her what she was doing. She said she was taking pictures of the steel structures that protect the trees – something about being works of art. It’s in the eye of the beholder I guess.One of the women left the mill around 11:00. Her boyfriend had brought her in earlier. They didn’t want to talk to me on the way in. He left after a few minutes, avoiding eye contact with me. When this woman left the mill, she didn’t seem all that sturdy. She avoided me and went to the payphone to make a phone call. I guess she didn’t get through to whomever it was, so she went into McDonalds. A little while later, she came out again and made at least two different calls, still not seeming to get through. I went over and talked to her, asking if she needed help, and I gave her a list of resources for post-abortive women. She didn’t want to take it at first, but eventually she did. She tried another phone call, she was obviously still feeling the effect of the sedatives. I asked if there was anything I could do, but again, she refused my help. She then went across the street and took a bus. I couldn’t help but think of how alone she is, now that the deed was done. Around 11:30, a couple, looking for the mill walked right past it. I didn’t intervene right away. They walked towards Sparks St, still obviously looking for the address. They then turned on Sparks, and I waited a good 40 minutes, but they didn’t come back. I’m still not sure how to handle these cases, but I figure I should let them walk by, standing ready when they backtrack and find the door (they usually do), then I can spot them earlier and approach them before their hand is on the doorknob. This couple just didn’t come back. I pray they won’t, ever. Maybe if I had spoken to them, I would have given it away and they would have gone in. Must have been their guardian angels yanking them away.Let’s keep praying. We’ll win this war one soul at a time. In this time of Advent, let us keep vigil. Our Lord is coming, let’s keep our lamps burning. – Doris Ground Zero Report – Dec.5
Interesting. A new “doctor” at the Mill. What happened to the old one? We’d like to know. Maybe Joan will tell us. Oh Joan….